The Promised One

Welcome to A Scarlet Cord of Hope, the 2021 advent series of University Fellowship Church Women written and read by Jaime Sherman, who penned our Christmastime narratives from biblical, Jewish, and historical sources to tell how God wove hope from creation to the creche and who continues to point us to the final fulfillment of hope in the one-day-soon second coming of Jesus Christ. Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

today’s suggested reading

Luke 2:1-7

Today’s Audio

Before the angel of God appeared to Zechariah and then to Mary and to Joseph, God’s voice had been silent for 400 years. His people could trace God’s scarlet cord of hope from Adam through the prophets, and they knew the promise that a messiah would come to make all things right again. But one century spanned into the next, and their hope for a rescuer to break into their world grew dim.

“Has God forgotten us?” they wondered.

But, no. God had neither forgotten them nor His promise to send the Messiah. He had declared to His prophet Habakkuk, “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end — it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (2:3).

He would be faithful to give all who trusted in Him a future and an eternal hope. For to Him a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years is but one day (II Peter 3:8-9). God had been preparing His people and directing their steps since the beginning of time for the day when He would send His Son, the Promised One, into the world.

To be born of a virgin during the reign of Caesar Augustus.

To grow into a man during the oppressive rule of Rome.

To teach men, women, and children how to love God and others.

To die on a cross as a perfect lamb of sacrifice to atone for the sins of humankind.

To conquer death three days later through His resurrection.

And to return to heaven to prepare a home for all who would put their trust in Him.

In His perfect timing, when the fullness of time had come, God invited a young maiden and her betrothed into a story of a promise fulfilled, of a great Hope who would free humankind from the crushing weight of the unattainable law of God (Galatians 4:4-5).

While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem to be counted among others in the family line of David, labor pains came upon the young maiden. Her promised Son was coming — and quickly — and yet Joseph could find no place for them to stay in the inn. So, with no other option, Mary squatted in the straw alongside braying and baaing farm animals to push with each contraction until her baby slipped from her body. Then after holding Him close and wrapping His little body in swaddling cloths, Mary made His bed in an animal’s feed trough, for she had nothing else to offer Him.

We wonder at Mary’s emotions as she wrapped torn cloths around her Son and laid God incarnate, the One promised to Eve in the Garden of Eden, in this make-shift cradle. This was no royal birth, and yet as the angel had promised, her Son was to reign on David’s throne forever. The angel’s words, “Nothing will be impossible with God,” came back to her. And her response echoed, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

As we celebrate Jesus’ first coming and look ahead with hope to His second coming, when He establishes His kingdom forever, we join the anthem:

Crown Him with many crowns
The King who left His throne
Creator of the universe
Born to the world He holds
And with that first drawn breath
The Word has become flesh
Emmanuel has come to us
O crown Him, all the earth

Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own
Awake, my soul, and sing
God sent His Son for me
Now hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity

Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman, 2021

today’s Songs

  • Click here for the season’s full playlist and other song recommendations.

Jaime Sherman is a writer and editor for but most importantly a child of the King of kings, the wife of one amazing man for nearly 20 years, and mama of five girls and one boy. Learn more about her adventure in writing and enjoy some free resources on our main page for this series.